Patriots fold to Cards
Late missed field goal costs Patriots the win in home opener
Last Updated: 16/09/12 10:28pm
Stephen Gostkowski: Missed field goal cost Pats victory
The New England Patriots lost their home opener for the first time since the 2001 season as Stephen Gostkowski missed a last-second field goal to allow the Arizona Cardinals to take the 20-18 win.
Back-up quarterback Kevin Kolb threw one touchdown and ran in one himself as he managed the game well behind a superb Cardinals defence that kept the Super Bowl team in check for most of the game.
Tom Brady could only find the end zone once with two minutes left in the game as he looked to engineer a fine comeback from 20-9 behind inside the final quarter.
A 53-yarder from Gostkowski followed by a five-yard TD pass from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski got the Patriots back to within two points of the visitors.
Arizona were running out of gas but still looked like icing the game before Ryan Williams criminally fumbled the ball deep inside his own half to give New England the ball back with just over a minute left on the clock.
Danny Woodhead ran in what looked to be the game-winning touchdown from 30 yards straight away, but that score was dramatically called back for a holding penalty on Gronkowski.
Brady ran down the clock and spiked the ball with six seconds left to set-up the field goal for Gostkowski, but the normally reliable kicker skewed his effort horribly left of the posts.
A stunned Brady looked on as the Cardinals celebrated a big upset victory that took their overall run to eight wins in the last ten games, built mainly on their ferocious defensive unit.
Brady did manage to throw for plenty of yards - 316 of them - but the Cardinals stood firm mostly on scoring terms and that was the key to them stunning the Pats at home.
Kolb had a modest 140 yards passing but crucially did not turn the ball over while scoring himself and hitting Andre Roberts for a two-yard touchdown.